Maya Angelou on Love and Liberation

A brave take on what it takes to love as a mother.

One of my favorite people of all time passed today. Maya Angelou may your soul rest in peace and may your wisdom be etched on the living for all eternally.

Embracing diversity is a basic life tenet I teach my four beautiful children. Two of the many Maya Angelou’s famous quotes about diversity that I take to heart are,

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty, and there is strength”;

and

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

However, the fundamental tenet that encompasses everything is love. It is mostly impossible finding the openness or the courage to give diversity a chance to develop without accepting the provisions of love.

Take for instance motherhood. I am still learning my way as a mom. Every now and then, I remind myself that my kids are neither a mini me nor an extension of me. They are their own people. My primary role is to help them develop the skills they will need to live the life they will one day lead.

If I would be selfish, I would like to do everything for my kids. If it would be just about me, I would love to protect them every which way I could. If it would keep me from going crazy worrying about them, I would sacrifice; give everything I could to them.

Unfortunately, none of the above defines the love that my children require so they could grow into their own people. Early on in my motherhood, I realized that loving my children entails finding the courage to understand that the requisite of love is allowing them to make good mistakes and to give them the leeway to develop and use life learning skills. In order for my children to become the best of what they can be, I have to learn to let go of them. They are my children; they are not an extension of my dreams. Letting go or liberating them is a requisite of love. Love liberates, as Maya Angelou puts it.

Here’s a clip from Maya Angelou’s talk about Love and Liberation.

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